The alarm had been set for 8am, two hours earlier than normal, and Curio had dressed quickly, skipped breakfast, and headed to the newsagents where he was told the article featuring him would be in the ‘North west report’. He was the first to buy a copy, and couldn’t wait to get back to his flat to read it, so walked out of the shop, stopped and rifled through the pages, looking for it. It was on page seven, and took up the upper half. There was a picture of him which the reporter had taken, and the headline read: ‘PSYCHIC FINDS FIFTH BODY IN A ROW’. He smiled as he read the article. It was all positive. The reporter seemed to have found Curio to be very constructive and newsworthy. The last paragraph read: ‘I am always sceptical of all things supernatural, but Curio offered to give me a reading. He told me things that nobody else could have known, and predicted future occurrences which would not surprise me should they come true. A unique individual with a talent I am certainly in awe of. I can honestly say that Curio Enchantment is a psychic genius’. Curio punched his fist in the air.
“Yes!” he said aloud. “Psychic genius”. An elderly man looked at him with curiosity as he walked by, but he didn’t care. Beneath the article, both of his telephone numbers, and his email had been printed. He had mentioned that he was available to give readings for a fee of £20 per time, and to ring for details. He would not have people go to the flat, rather arrange a meeting in a neutral place, or visit their home.
He then realised that he should get back to the flat soon, as people may already be ringing him. The stairs leading up did not seem as tiring this time, even though he had probably ascended them in the fastest time he had ever walked up them. Opening the door, he didn’t close it, or take off his coat, but strode across to the landline telephone. He saw that he had three messages, and smiled. He did not hesitate in playing them:
‘Hi…er Curio. Just wondered can you give me a reading? Give us a call on…” the man gave his telephone number and clicked off.
‘Curio. I saw your article and I am hoping you can give me and my friend a reading in our apartment. We’re available all day. Please call back on…’ The woman gave her number. He wondered what type of reading she was thinking of.
‘Mr Enchantment. I would like for you to give me a reading please. My name is Geoff Bridgeman. Please call me back on…’ He gave his number. This is where I can start earning proper money, he thought. This is a significant step on the path to fame. If I do well, then maybe I can start charging more. My reputation will grow and people will be familiar with me. Nothing much had come from his recent forays into the public consciousness. Now with his successes and with people recommending him, he could show people the reality of the paranormal, receive high eminence and celebrity status. No going back now, he thought. There would be no dipping of the toe into the glamorous world of stardom and pulling away to go back into hiding because it was not liked, not as he thought it would be. He would embrace it, would love to be surrounded by new friends, people who admired him for showing them reality. He hoped they would, because he knew, and believed with absolute certainty that he represented truth.
His mobile telephone had two messages, both of which wanted readings, and he decided to get his breakfast before answering any of them. While he ate his crispy flakes in the kitchen, the telephone rang again, and he put the bowl down on the counter, spilling some. He dashed to the telephone and answered it.